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News Briefs 21-03-2006

I’m weary.

Quote of the Day:

The customer is usually wrong; but statistics indicate that it doesn’t pay to tell him so.

Aleister Crowley

  1. Reading the Da Vinci Code
    I looked at the words, but I didn’t read them.

    Selling 40 million copies does not make TDVC a great book. I was working in a bookshop during the Da Vinci hype and I can state with utmost certainty that the majority of people who bought the book only did so because their colleagues and friends and people on the train to work were reading it. I tried recommending other authors — Lewis Perdue, John Case, Alan Folsom — but they weren’t interested. Everyone I sold TDVC too — and believe me, I sold a lot — did not give a flying razoo about other books and authors. TDVC was the in-thing. It was Pokemon for adults.

    I know many people — myself included — who bought TDVC simply because we were told it’s the best novel ever written. It’s not “intellectual snobbery” to not enjoy reading it, but it is “intellectual snobbery” to state that anyone who doesn’t enjoy TDVC is an illiterate philistine who wouldn’t know a good book if it slapped them in the face. That’s boorish elitism — and high school peer group pressure.

    There are hundreds — thousands — of other books that are “fun reads”, but you won’t see them selling 40 million copies. Many of them are better than TDVC, but without the hype of mass hysterical consumerism, these books will barely provide their authors with enough advances and royalties to pay the bills for a year and no more. I feel for these authors. Especially for Lewis Perdue, who got there almost two decades before Dan Brown did.

    TDVC is the book that conned the world. Sure, it might float some people’s boats, but to assert that it’s one of the best novels ever written simply because it sold 40 million copies … well, a lot of people voted for George W. Bush too, didn’t they?

    It’s quality, not quantity.

    PS It should be made very clear that Random House sued Lewis Perdue, and not the other way around. Which makes Random House’s role in the Brown/Baigent&Leigh plagiarism case very very interesting indeed.

    1. It’s not about the novel
      Rick, it has never been about the novel.It has never been that TDVC is a good read because it is not well written, but then neither are a lot of novels these days.
      The whole think about the book was what it brought out to the world in an easy to read form,a form that was not an academic work but a readable novel with people in it who interact over this amazing news that is being revealed.
      Of course you couldn’t offer them some other book if they wanted to read TDVC.I would have felt insulted it you did it to me when I went to buy that particular book.
      For 2000 years Christianity has had a large part of the world by the balls.Inside that novel there may have been proof that Christianity is just a huge wank, just like all religions.
      And even the ordinary man on the street could read it.He didn’t need a uni education to understand it.
      The book is loaded with dynamite.
      Whether people choose to read it is up to them.
      Whether they choose to suspect that all is not what it has been purported to be in Christianity is also up to them.
      And you can be darn certain that it has made the readers think a little outside the square that Christianity has had them in for 2000 years.
      THAT’S the value of the book.
      And as far as I am concerned, there can never be enough people read it.


  2. You must be weary Greg
    There is nothing in the world as tiring as being the parents of young children with a new baby in the house.
    As my youngest, Jake, was never a contented baby until he could get his teeth into a piece of steak, I felt I was living a nightmare.
    I developed something I have never been able to do since.
    I could stand waiting for the washing machine or something to finish and I could lean against the wall and actually sleep while I waited.
    It was an amazing talent, one I wish I still had.
    I was told at the time that I could be standing having a conversation with someone and actually catnap while they were talking.
    Once Jake got enough teeth to rip into steak he turned into a human being, thank Zeus.
    And he’s been wonderful ever since.
    Hang in there.
    You belong to a beautiful family of your own and a little suffering goes along with it.

    love B

    1. Weary is an old friend
      I misread weary as “wary”.

      Greg, I’m often amazed at how you manage to do so many things — a website is one thing, but all the work you put into Sub Rosa and all the other side projects (Red Pill, Stream, Solomon Key) would kill a normal human being. Most days just the act of tying my shoelaces exhausts me. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have kids (unless you teach the kids to tie your shoelaces for you).

      Take it easy, and let the news be late this week. We won’t mind.


  3. Dan Brown
    I bought another one of Dan Brown’s book, at an airport, to read it on my trip. I thought is was awful, so I don’t think I will read any more of his stuff.

    Loosely related, there was a book titled “Goedel, Escher, Bach” by Douglas Hofstadter. This was a best seller as well, I don’t have any number on it. I read that one. This book is full of difficult mathematical concepts, and I do not believe that even 5% of the people who bought the book understood any significant part of it. But because it was a difficult subject, nobody could admit that they don’t understand it.

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